When you first take a map in your hand to tackle a short WEE course or a white course in a colour series you may not know where it will lead – literally or figuratively! For two of LVO’s junior athletes it has led to Bulgaria this summer.
Andrew Elwood (M18) and Peter Reed (M16) will be representing Ireland against 27 other nations in the European Youth Orienteering Championships (EYOC) from 28th June to 1st July 2018. This is Andrew’s second time at EYOC and Peter’s first. EYOC is the third tier of representative orienteering for juniors. The first tier is representing the NI Orienteering Association at the Junior Inter-Regional Championships (JIRCs) and the second is representing Ireland at the Junior Home Internationals (JHIs). Both Andrew and Peter have progressed through these levels.
Teams at these events rely on the support of parents and clubs and this year LVO’s Alan Elwood is a team manager for Ireland’s EYOC Team.
Earlier in June another LVO junior, Rachel Collins, was selected to represent the NI Mountain Running Association (NIMRA) at the Mountain Running International Youth Cup in Lanzada, Italy. Unfortunately Rachel sprained her ankle while training on Slieve Croob ten days beforehand and while she travelled with the team was unable to run. The NI boys team had a storming run at this event finishing fourth (beating the USA!).
All the juniors have trained hard for these events – all are members of athletics clubs as well as LVO and through the winter have competed in orienteering events and cross-country events for their clubs and schools. Congratulations to them all! Also, many thanks are due to the LVO, NIOA, IOA and NIMRA coaches and to the athletics coaches in their clubs and schools. Thanks are also due to LVO, NIOA and IOA who have supported junior development financially and to the junior supporters such as Gerry and Ursula Meehan who have done so much to raise funds (and to all of you for eating the cakes and buns!).
You can read more about orienteering for juniors here.